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Archived updates for Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Development Agenda Splits WIPO Meeting

According to Intellectual Property Watch on April 11, 2005, developed and developing countries faced off Monday over whether and how the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s mission should be transformed to better address the needs of developing countries. For this week’s meeting, the so-called Friends of Development (fourteen developing country co-sponsors of the original development agenda proposal last fall), submitted an elaboration of their previous proposal to change WIPO into a more typical U.N. organisation by raising the profile of development concerns throughout its mission.

The United States, the United Kingdom and others say there is no need for a new body within WIPO, but acknowledge that improvements could be made to the existing system such as through better technical assistance to developing countries. The United States argued for the creation of a partnership database to improve developing country capacity to benefit from intellectual property, and said the issue should be placed into the existing Permanent Committee on Cooperation for Development Related to Intellectual Property (PCIPD). Developing countries have vowed to resist that move out of concern that development issues cut across all aspects of WIPO activities and should not be relegated to one committee.

“We don’t believe the U.N. needs another development agency,� the lead U.S. delegate reportedly said while referring to the U.N. Development Program and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development with specific development mandates. “We do not support setting up new bodies. We support WIPO. We would not want to change WIPO in a direction that would diminish that support.�
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